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Archives for October 2013

Outline For Staff Reduction, Building Closure To Cut Budget Deficit Presented


THIS CHART, ONE of many presented during the Pana School Board meeting on Monday, Oct. 21, shows the ups and downs of Pana’s expenses (square), revenues (circle) and fund balances (triangle) from Fiscal Year 2002 through 2014.

In dealing with a $1.1 million Education Fund short fall, a vote will be taken in November on a plan to close Tower Hill Jefferson Middle School and not replace five certified staff members who are retiring.

Pana School Superintendent Dr. David Lett outlined a plan to shave nearly 80% of a projected $1.1 million deficit in the Pana School District’s Fiscal 2015 year. He presented the plan to school board members during the Monday, Oct. 21, meeting of the Pana School Board held in the Library of Pana High School.

The superintendent spoke for nearly a half-hour on the options available to the school district which were first announced publicly during a Thursday, Oct. 17, meeting of the Board’s Finance Committee.

The plan includes the closure of Tower Hill Jefferson Middle School at the end of this school year. This move is projected to save just over $350,000. In another cost-savings move, the District will not replace five certified staff members – including Assistant School Superintendent David Dively – which is projected to save another $450,000, for a combined total of $800,000.

In the past few fiscal years, the State of Illinois has been “prorating” school funding levels based on Fiscal Year 2011 levels. In 2012, the level was 95% of the ‘11 amount. In 2013 and 2014, the level has been set at 89%. In those years, Pana schools have lost more than $1 million in state aid.


The Superintendent also reviewed how the school district has been coping with the loss of state funds over the past few years. Supply budgets have been slashed and the total number of certified and non-certified staff has been decreasing.

He noted between the 2005 Fiscal year and this year, there has been a reduction in certified staff from 105 in ‘05 to 85-1/2 this year. Non-certified rates have gone from 115 to 108 full and part-time positions. Administrative staff will fall from eight to six with the retirement of Dively at the end of the school year. Between FY 2010 and 2015, athletic department personnel were reduced by 8-1/2 and the elimination of the junior high school athletic director and a clerical position. There are more athletic department positions which are going to be reduced, it was announced.

However, Pana Education Association President Paul Donahue spoke to the Board early in its session and he pleaded with them not to make anymore staff cuts than what have been proposed.

“Dr. Lett has done a good job with the budget, and we have come under budget most years,” Donahue said. “But we ask you not to make cuts in teaching staff beyond the non-replacement of teachers who are retiring.”

The PEA President pointed out the adjustment from closing of Jefferson will be hard on students. He also said the adjustment to new testing standards and the switch to Common Core Standards will also take its toll. He said there will be new testing coming with first and second grade students being tested for the first time.

A final decision on the proposal will come during the Board’s November meeting set for Monday, Nov. 18.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:01 p.m.


Ronald McDonald to Perform at Children’s Health and Safety Fair


WORLD FAMOUS RONALD McDONALD will return to Pana (photo from last year) to perform a Magic Show at this year’s Pana Community Hospital Children’s Health & Safety Fair. The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 26, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon in Pana High School.

Admission is free.

Ronald McDonald is the featured guest for the 10th annual Pana Community Hospital Children’s Health and Safety Fair. The event is from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon in the Pana High School gym.

The grand door prize for 2013 is an I-pad Mini, compliments of First National Bank of Pana.  All children, age 18 and under who attend the health fair, can register to win the grand prize.  The winner will be drawn at the conclusion of the health fair and need not be present.  Other great prizes include a Google Chromebook from Beyers Chiropractic, a boys and girls bike from Heritage Health and hand-made blankets from the residents of Hickory Estates.

The health fair will feature over 25 health and safety booths with information for kids of all ages and their parents.  All the booths are fun and involve the kids in a game to learn about the health or safety issue presented.  Some of the booths this year include child id and fingerprinting, hearing screens, alcohol awareness, dangers of smoking, nutrition, fitness, fire safety and more.


Pana Trick or Treat Nights

Ghosts and goblins are reminded Trick-or-Treat nights in Pana are Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 30 and 31. Hours are 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Only homes with porch lights on should be visited.


Trick or Treat Nights In Tower Hill

Trick-or-Treat nights in Tower Hill will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 30 and 31. Hours are 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Trick-or-Treaters should only go to homes with porch lights lit.

Pana Polishes Off Wooden Shoes


PANA’S TESSA RODMAN, a junior, number 28, right, joins teammate Morgan Schoonover, number 10, a senior, left, on a block during the volleyball match with the Wooden Shoes in Teutopolis on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Pana won the match, 25-15, 25-17 for their 20th win of the season.

(Mary Cothern Photo)

On their final regular season road trip on Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Pana Panthers volleyball team prevailed in all matches against the Wood Shoes in Teutopolis. The varsity Panthers won for the 20th time this season in 2 games, 25-15, 25-17.

The 20-13 Panthers finish off the regular season tonight, Thursday, Oct. 24, when they host the Vandalia Vandals. It is Senior Night for the four seniors on this year’s roster, Morgan Schoonover, Breanna Schoonover, Morgan Franklin and Kylee Buerk. They will be honored prior to the start of varsity action.

The Tuesday night win for the Panthers, playing in their 41st straight season, gives them the 27th 20-plus win season in the history of the program. It is also the 25th of 26 seasons which Pana has won 20 matches or more and the 13th straight 20-win campaign. Pana has recorded 6 seasons of 30-plus victories in their history including the 2011 season when they won a high of 34 matches.

For the junior varsity, Pana improved to 12-3 with a 25-18, 25-22 non-conference win. They are 7-1 in the South Central Conference.

The freshman Panthers got by T-Town, 25-7, 25-19. They are 14-7 overall and 3-1-1 in league play.


Next week, Pana will be the a host for an Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class 2A Volleyball Regional. The tournament starts Monday night, Oct. 28, and concludes with the championship match on Thursday, Oct. 31.

Pana is the number 4 seed in the tournament and play in the opening match on Monday. They will face the number 5 seed, Toledo Cumberland at 7:00 p.m. The winner advances to the semi-final against  Effingham St. Anthony, the number 1 seed, at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

The championship match is Thursday, Oct. 31, with the winner advancing to the Newton Sectional which takes place the following week.

Admission is $4 per person, a price established by the IHSA.

Following is the schedule of matches for the tournament:

Monday, Oct. 28

Match 1: 7:00 p.m. – (4) Pana vs. (5) Toledo (Cumberland).


Tuesday, Oct. 29

Match 2: 6:00 p.m. –  (1) Effingham (St. Anthony) vs. Winner Match 1

Match 3: 7:00 p.m. – (2) Shelbyville vs. (3) Teutopolis.


Thursday, Oct. 31

Match 4: 6:00 p.m. – Winner Match 2 vs. Winner Match 3

Pana Senior Night Football Game Friday

here are 13 Pana Panthers football players who will be honored Friday night, Oct. 25, on Senior Night at Brummett Field. Kick-off agains the Hillsboro Hiltoppers is at 7:00 p.m.

The game amounts to a “play-in” game between the South Central Conference rivals. Both are 4-4 and the winner will probably advance to the IHSA Football post-season which will begin next week.


Music Boosters Tailgate Friday

Pana Music Boosters will hold its annual tailgate at Brummett Field, on Friday, Oct. 25. Serving will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The menu is rib-eye sandwich meal, $7; sandwich only, $6; hot dog meal, $2.50; hot dog only, $1.50.

Serving will be in the Panthers Den of Pana High School.


PJHS Girls Basketball Round-Up

Pana Junior High School girls basketball teams had a busy week so far, and it will continue next week.

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the eighth grade hosted Hillsboro and improved to 8-2 and 3-0 in the Junior Mid-State Conference with a win over Hillsboro, 31-22


Pana was up 9-7 after the first 6 minutes and made it 18-13 at halftime. It was 24-20 going into the fourth quarter.

At Mt. Zion on Monday, Oct. 21, the girls over-powered the home team, 46-12.

Pana broke out to an 11-4 first quarter lead and never looked back.

7th Grade–

Pana’s seventh grade team has suffered 3 straight loses recently.

At Carlinville on Saturday, Oct. 19, Pana fell, 32-17.

In overtime, Pana lost a thriller to Mt. Zion, 41-37.

Facing Hillsboro, the Panthers lost, 51-42.

Upcoming games for Pana starts with hosting Vandalia in the PJHS gym on Monday, Oct. 28. Tuesday, Oct. 29, they travel to Litchfield before coming home on Thursday, Oct. 31, for a tilt with Taylorville. Games start at 6:00 p.m. each night with the seventh grade game.


St. Pat’s Girls Record Wins

The Pana St. Pat’s seventh and eighth grade girls basketball team have recorded 4 wins between them recently. Both teams have defeated Ramsey and Stewardson-Strasburg.

8th Grade–

On Monday, Oct. 21, St. Pat’s was a 44-4 winner at Ramsey.

St. Pat’s held Ramsey scoreless in the first half, taking a 25-0 lead. It was 36-4 after three periods.

At Windsor on Thursday, Oct. 17, facing Stew-Stras, St. Pat’s used a balanced scoring attack to defeat the hosts, 36-6.

Windsor was held scoreless in the first quarter and St. Pat’s led 21-4 at halftime. At the end of three, St. Pat’s was up, 28-6.

7th Grade–

The seventh grade was also successful at Ramsey with a 42-8 win.

St. Pat’s took a 17-2 first quarter lead, then made it 25-17 at the half. By the end of the third quarter, it was a 34-8 game.

In their game with Stew-Stras, St. Pat’s was a 23-18 winner.

It was a 9-2 lead for St. Pat’s after a period, then they went up 13-4 at the break. The gap was 15-10 at the end of the third period.

Both teams head to Nokomis for games today, Thursday, Oct. 24. On Monday, Oct. 28 and Tuesday, Oct. 29, the girls play in Tower Hill taking on Effingham St. Anthony and Sorento, respectively. All of the games start with seventh grade action at 6:00 p.m.

Obituaries: October 24, 2013

G. Junior Beck

G. Junior Beck, 78, of Westervelt, died at 6:46 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 in Memorial Medical Center, Springfield. Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Susan Vargas

Susan Elizabeth (Lira) Vargas, 52, of Pana, died Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 in St. John’s Hospital, Springfield. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Ruth Munson

Ruth M. (Runkel) Munson, 81, died peacefully on Monday, Oct.21, 2013 in her home in Pana. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Raelynn Nichols

Raelynn Elaine Nichols, infant daughter of Rebecca Brooks and Aaron Nichols, died at 10:36 a.m., Monday Oct. 21, 2013 in Shelby Memorial Hospital, Shelbyville. Lockart-Green Funeral Home, Shelbyville, in charge of arrangements.


Ron Ade

A service of remembrance will be held for Ronald “Ron” Ade at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27, at New Life Community Church, 113 S. Locust, Pana. Ronald Ade, 69, of Pana, died Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, in Decatur Memorial Hospital.


Charles Jenkins

Charles Chester Jenkins, 69, of Tower Hill, died at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 in Heritage Health, Pana. Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Stephen Schmitz

Stephen P. Schmitz, 65, of Wheeling, formerly of Pana, died Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, as a result of a motorcycle accident. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at


David Tucker

David L. Tucker 72 of Lerna, died at 9:07 p.m., Tuesday Oct. 27, 2013 in Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Coles County. Arrangements are incomplete at Lockart-Green Funeral Home, Shelbyville.